I’m one of the few MNN bloggers who doesn’t own a pet — but I do love dogs. And in the metropolis where I live, dogs have been making the news a lot this month.

First, West Hollywood banned the sale of most cats and dogs in pet stores, making it the second city (after South Lake Tahoe) to pass such a law as a means of preventing animal abuse and overbreeding associated with puppy and kitten mills.

Then, the L.A. City Council passed a motion to have the Department of Animal Services go after unregistered dogs in the city. By law, all dogs must be registered — and the license crackdown’s hoped to make the city some revenue, since licenses cost $15 for a sterilized dog or $100 for an unaltered dog. The crackdown also finally got City Councilman Tom LaBonge to get his own dog licensed.

Then came a more personal crackdown of sorts from Kevin Ott, an Angeleno and self-described dog lover who blogs at Metblogs Los Angeles. After rescuing too many unleashed dogs that get lost in his neighborhood, Kevin issued an ultimatum: He’ll rescue your stray dog, but he won’t return the pet for a month. Why? Writes Kevin:

I’m tired of spending my time chasing down other people’s dogs. I’m tired of the feeling I get when I can’t catch them, and the worry that something terrible might happen to them because their owners weren’t responsible enough to keep them leashed or fenced in properly….

But seriously. Anyone reading this: Take care of your dog. Keep him fenced in. Keep him on a leash. Don’t roll the damn car windows down all the way if he’s small enough to fall out of them on a hard curve. And don’t do it because some jerk with a blog is making an emotional appeal. Do it because you owe it to your dog.

Many fellow dog lovers wrote in the comments supporting Kevin’s stance and pointing out other reasons why dog owners should keep their pooches leashed: To prevent them from being run over by cars, frightening kids or other dogs, pooping on other people’s lawns, or most scarily, getting dognapped and used as bait in training dogs for dog fights.

I have one friend who’ll walk her well-behaved dog without a leash in quieter residential areas — but her habit still makes me squeamish because I’m afraid some sudden noise could frighten the dog, making it jump out in the street just as a car comes by. Then again, it’s her dog, not mine….

Dog-owning readers of MNN: What do you think about these rules, both official and unofficial? Do you hope for similar puppy sale bans in your city? Have you gotten a license for your pet? And do you always keep your dog leashed in public?

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